Traveller, Life Student and Fauxtographer

Travel

Incredible India – Lessons Learnt

My second visit to India! I decided to make a quick stop ….. while going from seoul…. to Bangkok…. just a minor diversion….
This time we were only there for 9 days, visiting Delhi and Jaipur.

Many travelers i have met have a pretty low opinion of delhi, but to be honest i think it is one of the best areas in India.
yes, there is alot of crime and corruption, but once you learn to smile and nod and pretty much refuse anything anyone offers, its not such a bad place!

You really have to research alot about what you want to do and how to do it, otherwise people will take advantage and your already small budget will become near non existant!

Lets get the DOWNSIDES out of the way first…

The first time i arrived in Delhi (about 3 years ago) i didn’t really know anything, what to do, where to go, but luckily i was with someone that did know at that time.
She knew alot of the cons that went on and how to get things done on our own, and after a few days she even took my money from me (i really struggled with the poverty… i mean the poverty in India, not the sudden lack of money i had afer she took it) I couldn’t stop giving money away to the kids running around in rags begging for pennies, or the crippled elders sitting along the side streets.)
I saw it as – i have money…. they don’t, so i SHOULD give to them. But this was a very weak and naive way of thinking.
Although i couldn’t see it at the time, the money we give just goes to a higher power anyway, someone that controls alot of the people on the streets, who the kids have to give the money to. In a way giving to them just means we are funding this type of crime…

Plus, alots changed since i was first there. This time when people where begging i could see that they weren’t hungry, weren’t desperate, it was just habit for them to beg.
I saw one American guy take a whole family from the street and treat them all with a McDonalds, which is fair enough, but 30 mins later i was walking down the street and saw the same family begging for food again.
Similar to many things i saw in India it was just another con…

Its also ridiculous how many people approach while you’re wandering down the road and try to get you to go to “the Tourist Information Center”. They all say they are government approved, but NONE of them actually are.
These supposed friendly Indians, that “just want to help”, all get a commission on whatever over priced tour you inevitably end up booking.

I highly recommend just finding one of the many TukTuk drivers that roam the streets, go somewhere not too far away with them and see what kind of person they are. If they seem friendly enough (not creepy weird),, then ask them if they would mind taking you around to various sites the next day for a fixed price.
Depending on your bartering skills (mine aren’t great) the price for the whole day can vary – the first time i was there (about 3 years ago) the whole day was about 200INR, this time it was at least 600INR (i found alot of things have gone up in price drastically, doubled if not tripled).
But in the end, well worth it – you dont have to worry about bartering everytime you get a TukTuk to the next site, and you get to see everything in one day – Winner!
Plus, after you’ve done this you don’t have to ‘umm’ and ‘Arr’ about whether to hear out what the mass of hawkers and touts have to say, you can just go by saying ‘done! Seen! Cheers! Bye!’

Finding accommodation can also be a problem.

In my experience, it really is where you sleep that makes the trip.
I used to just go for the cheapest places and make do with the crap that would follow – the ‘one drip one second’ freezing cold showers, the questionably stained bedsheets, unbearable humidity, lack of safety and comfort.
Now i know better. I will always look for something abit more mid range thats still cheap but not a complete hole.
They’re easy enough to find if you take some time to look around and inspect a few rooms, plus with abit of bartering you can usually get a nice room in a decent place for the same price as a “room” in one of the holes you just left behind.
the nicer places get more business in the long run and so don’t seem to try as hard to rip you off.

Once you have a nice place to sleep, you can leave your belongings without worry and you can sleep with ease without wondering if you will wake up with some kind of virus or infection. all in all you can feel alot better and enjoy your time in India.

Now – Some Pros to visiting India!

Although alot of people may get down by all the above cons (and alot more that i havent mentioned!), but they are easy enough to overcome. You just have to research thoroughly!

Once you’ve got into the swing of things, smile and say ‘no thank you’ while you KEEP walking (dont stop or they’ve got you!) to the various touts and hawkers, and feel confident that you know what your doing and how to do it, you can have a good time in India!

Taking a trip around both New and Old Delhi can give great insight into the various aspects of Indian life, as well as getting the opportunity to witness an evergrowing economy.
I also recommend reading some of Arivand Adiga’s books (especially ‘The White Tiger’), great reads that give you some insight into Life in India.

And of course there are many historical sites to visit and Bazaars to shop at.

 

All in all I highly recommend a trip to India.
You can gain a better perspective on your own life, witness how others get by with obstacles that need to be overcome in their everyday life.
and if nothing else, Wherever you travel to after India, will seem like a breeze! (the KL airport was like a paradise after i left India! Everywhere was so clean… and there was a Starbucks!! lol)

Summary of Lessons learnt!

– Its where you sleep that makes the trip!
– Research thoroughly! Don’t trust what people who “just want to help” say, know yourself what is best for you to do.
– Smile, nod, politely decline, never just ignore. If you are nice to them in return they will be less forceful and hostile to you.
– Don’t give into beggers (i know its hard).

I plan to write my next post about Train travel in India and Jaipur….. whenever i get the chance!

Thanks for reading!

 

 


Seoul – Soul of Asia!

South Koreas Capital and Largest City.

A city with a long history!
i was lucky enough to be there during the annual lantern festival, where 30,000 colored
lanterns floated on the water along the 1.3-kilometer stream in the middle of the city.

The lanterns depict various aspects of korean history and culture, as well as other countries cultures,
including Philippines and Japan!

All in all, Great time!
Next stop: India!


Dynamic Busan!

South Koreas southern port and second largest city.

The first port of call of my latest travels.
1 hour 30 minute flight from Osaka – i reckon thats my shortest flight yet!

It feels good to be traveling again! 😛

Random Facts:

On an average day in Busan there is:
1,099 tons of fishery products caught,
466 crime related incidents
51 marriages and 23 divorces,
and
63 births with 52 deaths!

(numbers provided by : busan.go.kr )


Making Use Of Negative Space

Effectively using negative space

After my last post i felt i needed to re-assert myself as an amateur Photographer who is progressing and gaining new knowledge and skills with every shot.(here’s hoping!)

So, This is my attempt at an artistic shot that has depth and….. emotion….. i guess….
I read an article on hongkiat – http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/positive-effect-of-negative-spaces-in-photography/ – that stated ‘negative space often adds interest as it can place a stronger emphasis on the subject and it can evoke emotions effectively’

Ive been wanting to photograph my boots, so this seemed like the perfect opportunity to try.

I’ve had these boots for a while now, but sadly there time is coming to an end…
They were a gift to me from my father nearly 4 years ago, and since then they have been with me through alot of journeys.
I had them when i walked along the GWOC, while i was working on Mt. Taranaki in NZ, and during my time running a hostel in Sydney,
They were strapped to the side off my backpack in India (too hot to wear boots!), and more recently, they’ve been with me while i was training to be a mechanic in Japan.

They are now, however, falling apart, and i made the decision to leave them behind for my next trip. (Hence this photo, to commemorate them)

Its strange how attached you get to things, inanimate objects that you don’t think twice about until they can’t be used anymore. Now i have to make do with my AirWalk trainers ….. which probably won’t last very long.

So! create negative space and keep the subject the focus of the shot?? …. nifty 50!

I wasn’t sure where would be best to focus on to be honest. My favourite after a few shots is the one at the beginning of the post – i like the tread being in focus and the bokeh on the far boot. But, i also took one focusing on the far boot.
Using Negative Space
Let me know what you think, and how i did to ‘place a stronger emphasis on the subject and evoke emotions effectively’.

Camera: Nikon D5100
Lens: 50mm F/1.8
Shutter: 0.05 sec (1/20)
ISO: 100

Photoshop Cs5 to convert to B&W and Sharpen with ‘unsharp mask’


Best I’ve Seen

Osaka Fireworks Display

Camera:     Nikon D40
Exposure:     0.05 sec (1/20)
Aperture:     f/4.2
Focal Length:     28 mm
ISO Speed:     800


Port City

Kobe Harbour

Camera:     Nikon D40
Exposure:     0.8
Aperture:     f/4.0
Focal Length:     18 mm
ISO Speed:     200


Osaka Castle by Night

Blue Hour Shot of Osaka Castle

Camera:     Nikon D40
Exposure:     0.125 sec (1/8)
Aperture:     f/4.5
Focal Length:     18 mm
ISO Speed:     200


Sakura at Osaka Castle

Camera:     Nikon D40
Exposure:     0.004 sec (1/250)
Aperture:     f/8.0
Focal Length:     26 mm
ISO Speed:     200


Old Sakai Lighthouse

Camera     CA005 (Exilim Phone Camera)
Exposure     0.007 sec (1/141)
Aperture     f/3.0
Focal Length     4.6 mm


Hanami in Kyoto

Camera:     Nikon D40
Exposure:     0.033 sec (1/30)
Aperture:     f/3.8
Focal Length:     20 mm
ISO Speed:     640